Georgians protest in last-ditch effort to block controversial ‘Russian law’

Hundreds of young Georgians crowded outside the Caucasus country's parliament on Monday after a night-long demonstration against a controversial "foreign influence" law that critics say was inspired by repressive Russian legislation.

The ex-Soviet republic has been gripped by escalating protests for weeks over the bill that demonstrators fear will sabotage its hopes of joining the European Union and erode democracy.

The ruling Georgian Dream party, which was forced to drop a similar bill last year after public outcry, is intent on passing the bill at a final hearing expected on Tuesday, arguing the new rules will promote transparency.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze said Monday that the parliament would adopt the "foreign influence" bill on NGOs despite the protests.

"Tomorrow the parliament of Georgia will act on the will of the majority of the population and pass the law in the third reading," Kobakhidze said in a televised address.

Read moreWhat is Georgia's controversial 'Russian law'?

The law requires non-governmental organisations and media outlets that receive over 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register as an "organisation pursuing the interests of a foreign power".


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